Brazil elected far-right congressman Jair Bolsonaro, 63, as president on Sunday. Bolsonaro's comments on abortion, the environment, immigration, race, women, his views on religion's role in government, and more have simultaneously thrilled his supporters and horrified his critics.
Bolsonaro, a former army captain, won 55.2% of votes with the campaign slogan "Brazil before everything, and God above all."
Bolsonaro has said several offensive things over the years. These are just a few of them:
In a 2011 interview with Playboy, he said, "“I would be incapable of loving a homosexual son. I won’t be a hypocrite: I prefer a son to die in an accident than show up with a mustachioed guy. He’d be dead to me anyway.”
In 2014, he said this of a congresswoman while speaking to local media, "She doesn’t deserve to be raped, because she’s very ugly. She’s not my type. I would never rape her. I’m not a rapist, but if I were, I wouldn’t rape her because she doesn’t deserve it."
During his campaign, he said that if he was elected, he would withdraw Brazil from the Paris Climate Agreement, calling the idea of climate change "greenhouse fables."
Bolsonaro believes there are too many reservations for indigenous people in the Amazon. Among the things he has said on the subject is, “Our Amazon is like a child with chickenpox, every dot you see is an indigenous reservation … and the Brazilian people applaud [demarcation of indigenous land]. Look at these people, no political strategy!”
While discussing his children in a speech last year he said, “I have five children. Four were boys, on the fifth I got weak and had a daughter.”
And in a campaign speech he made in February of last year, Bolsonaro said, “God above everything. There is no such thing as this secular state. The state is Christian and the minority will have to change, if they can. The minorities will have to adapt to the position of the majority.”
So, in other words, Bolsonaro plans to install a full on Christian theocracy in Brazil. Meanwhile, the environment will be razed, and women, racial minorities, and homosexuals will be considered second-class citizens (if homosexuals are tolerated at all, there is legitimate cause to fear they will not be).
In other words, there are legitimate fears over what this lunatic will do now that he has won the presidency. He is a former military captain with all of the worst qualities of Donald Trump and Mike Pence rolled into one dumpster fire full of insanity.
Brazil is the world's eighth-largest economy, and the largest in Latin America, with over 208 million residents. The election of Bolsonaro could have far-ranging consequences, both for those inside Brazil and those outside the country.
I fear that many of the 58 million people in Brazil who support Bolsonaro have been hopelessly pulled along for the ride by fear-mongering, and potently effective rhetoric. Gee, what does that remind you of?